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Lost Worlds and Mythological Kingdoms

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From the legends of Atlantis, El Dorado, and Shangri-La to classic novels such as King Solomon’s Mine, The Land That Time Forgot, and The Lost World, readers have long been fascinated by the idea of lost worlds and mythical kingdoms. Read short stories featuring the discovery of such worlds or kingdoms―stories where scientists explore unknown places, stories where the disco From the legends of Atlantis, El Dorado, and Shangri-La to classic novels such as King Solomon’s Mine, The Land That Time Forgot, and The Lost World, readers have long been fascinated by the idea of lost worlds and mythical kingdoms. Read short stories featuring the discovery of such worlds or kingdoms―stories where scientists explore unknown places, stories where the discovery of such turns the world on its head, stories where we’re struck with the sense of wonder at realizing that we don’t know our world quite as well as we’d thought. Featuring new tales by today's masters of SF&F: Tobias S. Buckell James L. Cambias Becky Chambers Kate Elliott C.C. Finlay Jeffrey Ford Theodora Goss Darcie Little Badger Jonathan Maberry Seanan McGuire An Owomoyela Dexter Palmer Cadwell Turnbull Genevieve Valentine Carrie Vaughn Charles Yu E. Lily Yu


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From the legends of Atlantis, El Dorado, and Shangri-La to classic novels such as King Solomon’s Mine, The Land That Time Forgot, and The Lost World, readers have long been fascinated by the idea of lost worlds and mythical kingdoms. Read short stories featuring the discovery of such worlds or kingdoms―stories where scientists explore unknown places, stories where the disco From the legends of Atlantis, El Dorado, and Shangri-La to classic novels such as King Solomon’s Mine, The Land That Time Forgot, and The Lost World, readers have long been fascinated by the idea of lost worlds and mythical kingdoms. Read short stories featuring the discovery of such worlds or kingdoms―stories where scientists explore unknown places, stories where the discovery of such turns the world on its head, stories where we’re struck with the sense of wonder at realizing that we don’t know our world quite as well as we’d thought. Featuring new tales by today's masters of SF&F: Tobias S. Buckell James L. Cambias Becky Chambers Kate Elliott C.C. Finlay Jeffrey Ford Theodora Goss Darcie Little Badger Jonathan Maberry Seanan McGuire An Owomoyela Dexter Palmer Cadwell Turnbull Genevieve Valentine Carrie Vaughn Charles Yu E. Lily Yu

30 review for Lost Worlds and Mythological Kingdoms

  1. 5 out of 5

    Alina

    I have mixed feelings about this anthology, as it has some stories that were very imaginative and well written, but also has a lot of mediocre (and worse) ones. Below I rated each of the stories individually, with a few words about impressions and/or subject. The Light Long Lost at Sea by An Owomoyela - 1.5/5★ After reading it, I looked to see if the author has a book or series that this might be a companion of, because I was sure this isn’t a standalone story; but apparently it is, though there’s I have mixed feelings about this anthology, as it has some stories that were very imaginative and well written, but also has a lot of mediocre (and worse) ones. Below I rated each of the stories individually, with a few words about impressions and/or subject. The Light Long Lost at Sea by An Owomoyela - 1.5/5★ After reading it, I looked to see if the author has a book or series that this might be a companion of, because I was sure this isn’t a standalone story; but apparently it is, though there’s nothing much to understand from it: not the world, not the magic, not what happened to the world and the magic, not what happened/happens to the characters. This is the story: a woman asks her former girlfriend to come see what a certain anomaly in the sea is, which turns out to be a magical residue from the Empire (?), and the ex-girlfriend has magical powers and a male friend who appears out of nowhere and disappears suddenly... If you didn’t understand anything from this, it’s exactly like the story, so don’t worry. The Cleft of Bones by Kate Elliott - 3.5/5★ A story of slaves and kindness. The world is better developed than in the first story, the main character inspired, so this one was a decent standalone. The Voyage of Brenya by Carrie Vaughn - 3.5/5★ A nice story about how legends/faiths come to be born, and how songs & ballads have their own life. I think the mythological landmark in this one is Stonehenge. Comfort Lodge, Enigma Valley by Charles Yu - 1/5★ Wtf was this?! This ‘story’ is comprised of very weird reviews for a hotel/motel. The Expedition Stops for the Evening at the Foot of the Mountain Pass by Genevieve Valentine - 2/5★ A story about an expedition where the members know many of them will die / have a very high chance of dying. Way too many characters for such a short story and rather unclear storyline! Down in the Dim Kingdoms by Tobias S. Buckell - 3/5★ A quite decent story about a psycho 17yo girl; the part about the adventurers rings so true. Those Who Have Gone by C.C. Finlay - 3.5/5★ This one seemed to me the most real and possible, a story about a ~18yo girl who dates a 30-ish guy and wants to break up with him, but is afraid of him. An Account, by Dr. Inge Kühn, of the Summer Expedition and Its Discoveries by E. Lily Yu - 3.5/5★ This was an interesting one: it’s 2050 and the ice shelves have melted. Three scientists are working at the Polar Station in Antarctica when they find a geological feature that is not on any map, so they decide to study it. Out of the Dark by James L. Cambias - 3.5/5★ A team of two competitive men who search space habitats that are deserted or inhabited by people who reverted to primitiveness, to repossess them. Endosymbiosis by Darcie Little Badger - 3/5★ A story about an oceanographer and the sirens’ call. The Orpheus Gate by Jonathan Maberry - 4/5★ A scientist (the grand-granddaughter of Conan Doyle's Professor Challenger) is visited by a friend of her grandmothers and gets her world and beliefs shaken. Hotel Motel Holiday Inn by Dexter Palmer - 3/5★ Salesmen who travel often and must stay in hotels and motels meet and exchange stories and particularities of these lodgings. This reminded me of the fourth story ("Comfort Lodge, Enigma Valley" by Charles Yu), but I found it better written and much more easily to grasp. On the Cold Hill Side by Seanan McGuire - 4/5★ A disappearing island keeps coming back every hundred years or so, and now the US government wants to find out more about it and its inhabitants. The Return of Grace Malfrey by Jeffrey Ford - 1/5★ The second time in this collection: WTF did I just read?!” A little girl disappears out of thin air and ‘teleports’ in a town where she’s 16yo and works in a factory, sorting human hands.. The Tomb Ship by Becky Chambers - 4/5★ A story about a space miner, a queen and a computer that finds a loophole in a protocol – quite interesting one, and quite well written. Pellargonia: A Letter to the Journal of Imaginary Anthropology by Theodora Goss - 4/5★ Nice story 3 teens writing a letter to a publication, about a story they invented, and how it affects their lives. I also liked how it was delivered, as a letter with annotations from all three friends. There, She Didn’t Need Air to Fill Her Lungs by Cadwell Turnbull - 2.5/5★ Good idea at the base, but I never knew who was telling the story. I figured what was happening to the girls early on, but I didn’t get the ending..

  2. 5 out of 5

    Kara

    This anthology is full of stories about, as you might expect, the discovery and exploration of other worlds or how adjacent worlds impact us in this one. I expected them to be Alice-esque with portals and magic, but I was impressed with how many different ways the authors were able to explore the theme. There's a lot of fantasy here, some sci-fi, and so much great writing. Short story collections are my jam, but I'm used to anthologies containing stories that are a fairly even distribution from t This anthology is full of stories about, as you might expect, the discovery and exploration of other worlds or how adjacent worlds impact us in this one. I expected them to be Alice-esque with portals and magic, but I was impressed with how many different ways the authors were able to explore the theme. There's a lot of fantasy here, some sci-fi, and so much great writing. Short story collections are my jam, but I'm used to anthologies containing stories that are a fairly even distribution from two to five stars, so I was very impressed with how top-heavy this was due to caliber of writing. I picked this up because I love Becky Chambers and Seanan McGuire and was delighted to discover a bunch of new authors. Five star stories: The Light Long Lost at Sea by An Owomoyela The Cleft of Bones by Kate Elliott The Voyage of Brenya by Carrie Vaughn Down in the Dim Kingdoms by Tobias S. Buckell On the Cold Hill Side by Seanan McGuire The Tomb Ship by Becky Chambers There, She Didn’t Need Air to Fill Her Lungs by Cadwell Turnbull Almost but not quite five stars: Those Who Have Gone by C. C. Finlay The Orpheus Gate by Jonathan Maberry Four stars: Comfort Lodge, Enigma Valley by Charles Yu An Account, by Dr. Inge Kuhn, of the Summer Expedition and Its Discoveries by E. Lily Yu Out of the Dark by James L. Cambia Endosymbiosis by Darcie Little Badger The Return of Grace Malfrey by Jeffery Ford Pellargonia: A Letter to the Journal of Imaginary Anthropology by Theodora Goss Three stars: The Expedition Stops for the Evening at the Foot of the Mountain Pass by Genevieve Valentine Hotel Motel Holiday Inn by Dexter Palmer I received this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Bandit

    Once upon a time, before the world was all mapped out and figured out, there were mysteries out there. Lands unknown and kingdoms undiscovered. The best thing about fiction is its stubborn refusal to be curtained or in any way limited by reality. Fiction can take you as far as imagination can go. And this collection will take you places you never knew existed. Literally. Places freshly made up by a number of very talented authors specifically for this anthology. Ranging from science fiction to fa Once upon a time, before the world was all mapped out and figured out, there were mysteries out there. Lands unknown and kingdoms undiscovered. The best thing about fiction is its stubborn refusal to be curtained or in any way limited by reality. Fiction can take you as far as imagination can go. And this collection will take you places you never knew existed. Literally. Places freshly made up by a number of very talented authors specifically for this anthology. Ranging from science fiction to fantasy to magic realism to horror and beyond, these stories imagine distant worlds on this or other planets, giving you, the reader, an opportunity to have the most exciting sort of armchair traveling experience. Yes, it took me a moment to get into this collection, the first two stories didn’t quite do it, but afterwards, it was one winner after the next. Such cleverly crafted, well-written, exciting adventures. I’m not even sure I have favorites, there were so many. Vaughn, Yu (both), Buckell, Finlay and more. Even Seanan McGuire who normally doesn’t work for me due to its overwhelming YA-ness was really good here. Overall, a great read. Recommended for every intrepid armchair traveler and everyone who looks at maps wishing for more. Thanks Netgalley.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Liz (Quirky Cat)

    Do you love stories of missing worlds and places? Stories such as the lost city of Atlantis, El Dorado, or Shangri-La? Well, then I have some good news for you! Lost Worlds and Mythological Kingdoms is an entire collection of very similar stories. In total, I believe there are seventeen short stories in this anthology, all revolving around the concept of missing worlds and all very much fitting a sci-fi vibe. I'll confess that this anthology first came up on my radar because of one of my favori Do you love stories of missing worlds and places? Stories such as the lost city of Atlantis, El Dorado, or Shangri-La? Well, then I have some good news for you! Lost Worlds and Mythological Kingdoms is an entire collection of very similar stories. In total, I believe there are seventeen short stories in this anthology, all revolving around the concept of missing worlds and all very much fitting a sci-fi vibe. I'll confess that this anthology first came up on my radar because of one of my favorite authors (Seanan McGuire). Other authors I adore in this anthology include Becky Chambers, Kate Elliot, Theodora Goss, and Carrie Vaughn. The Light Long Lost at Sea by An Owomoyela Rating: ★ ★ ★ The Light Long Lost at Sea kinda read like it was the continuation of a story – but I can't find any evidence of the story it may have spawned from. This isn't unusual – reading a short story out of context, and actually seems to happen a lot in anthologies. Still, I would love to know more about this world before diving on in. The Cleft of Bones by Kate Elliot Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ I love Kate Elliot, so I wasn't surprised to find myself enjoying this latest world she's built, The Cleft of Bones. It's dark and heavy, but still wonderfully done. I found myself wanting more as the story came to a conclusion. The Voyage of Brenya by Carrie Vaughn Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ This was a very interesting story, one that felt more lyrical, which was a nice surprise. It follows a woman who sets off all alone on a journey of her own. I didn't mean to rhyme there, sorry! Comfort Lodge by Enigma Valley Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ If you don't like unique storytelling formats then you probably won't enjoy Comfort Lodge. It's a collection of reviews/notes about a hotel and is totally different from anything else I've read. I rather enjoyed the unique take on the subject. The Expedition for the Evening at the Foot of the Mountain Pass by Genevieve Valentine Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ There's something very somber about The Expedition for the Evening at the Foot of the Mountain Pass. Probably the fact that many of the people in the expedition know that they won't all survive. It's very realistic in that sense, I suppose. Down in the Dim Kingdom by Tobias S. Buckell Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ This one got dark – it was good, don't get me wrong. But there are certainly some dark elements. Down in the Dim Kingdom raises all sorts of questions about the intention behind missing worlds. Those Who Have Gone by C.C. Finlay Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ Those Who Have Gone hurt my heart in a way. It felt too real – with a situation many younger women have found themselves in. Yet it had a fantasy edge, though I'm not entirely sure that the fantasy elements helped soothe the ache. An Account, by Dr. Inge Kuhn, of the Summer Expedition and Its Discoveries by E. Lily Yu Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ I loved An Account, by Dr. Inge Kuhn, of the Summer Expedition and Its Discoveries. I know that it relied on a common fascination these days – something cropping up from the melting polar ice caps, but I really appreciated the twist here. Out of the Dark by James L. Cambias Rating: ★ ★ ★ Out of the Dark very much felt like repo men in space. It was a solid foundation to work with, I only wish that there had been more time to explore the concept. Endosymbiosis by Darcie Little Badger Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ How many people do you think have gone missing over the years? Are there certain jobs more prone to a mysterious fate than others? I imagine that oceanographers would be more at risk of getting taken away by sirens, for obvious reasons. It would seem that Darcie Little Badger has the same thought. The Orpheus Gate by Jonathan Maberry Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ The Orpheus Gate uses magic and fantasy realms to explore a common concept – having our worlds rocked by a new discovery. I really enjoyed it, even though the overall themes felt familiar. Hotel Motel Holiday Inn by Dexter Palmer Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ Palmer imagines a series of salespeople gathering in hotels and the like to share their stories. While many of them probably see the same thing day in and out, the odds are always higher than average that they will come across the strange and unknown. It is the nature of their job. On the Cold Hill Side by Seanan McGuire Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ On the Cold Hill Side is my absolute favorite short story from this collection, and I'm not just saying that because Seanan McGuire is a favorite author of mine. This one grabbed my imagination and would not let go. It's a story that takes place across hundreds of years, following an island as it comes and goes. I loved the collection of stories it collects, and the modern conclusion to the tale (not so much a conclusion – I would love to see McGuire pick this up as a series). The Return of Grace Malfrey by Jeffrey Ford Rating: ★ ★ ★ I honestly don't quite know what to say about this one. It is extremely imaginative, I'll give you that! It's out there, in a way that stories of the lost could only ever hope to be. The Tomb Ship by Becky Chambers Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ I love that this anthology included stories set in space as well as in fantastical lands. This one follows a miner in space (as in, they literally mine things for a living). Though they're about to come across a few surprises to make things more interesting. Pellargonia: A Letter to the Journal of Imaginary Anthropology by Theodora Goss Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ I love Theodora Goss' writing, it's so evocative and powerful. Especially in this story, which imagines three teens discussing a story that they created together and what it means to them. It feels rather relevant, don't you think? There, She Didn't Need Air to Fill Her Lungs by Cadwell Turnbull Rating: ★ ★ ★ I really love how There, She Didn't Need Air to Fill Her Lungs will (and has) made readers stop and think. As such, it makes total sense that this is the final story in the anthology. I won't say that it is the one that will linger the longest (for me that will always be On the Cold Hill Side), but it will linger in your mind nonetheless. Thanks to Grim Oak Press and #NetGalley for making this book available for review. All opinions expressed are my own. Read more reviews over at Quirky Cat's Fat Stacks

  5. 5 out of 5

    Mike

    I always love anthologies - the chance to start and finish a story over breakfast, the chance to watch favorite authors stretch their wings and try new ideas, and the chance to sample new ones is always something I look forward to. The theme this one was created around is “Lost Worlds,” as in The Lost World by Arthur Conan Doyle. Hidden worlds waiting to be discovered. Not a new idea, but one that hasn’t been done much in recent years. The contributing authors, in no particular order, are Tobias I always love anthologies - the chance to start and finish a story over breakfast, the chance to watch favorite authors stretch their wings and try new ideas, and the chance to sample new ones is always something I look forward to. The theme this one was created around is “Lost Worlds,” as in The Lost World by Arthur Conan Doyle. Hidden worlds waiting to be discovered. Not a new idea, but one that hasn’t been done much in recent years. The contributing authors, in no particular order, are Tobias S. Buckell, Becky Chambers, Kate Elliott, Jeffrey Ford, Theodora Goss, Darcie Little Badger, Jonathan Maberry, Seanan McGuire, An Owomoyela, Dexter Palmer, Cadwell Turnbull, Genevieve Valentine, Carrie Vaughn, Charles Yu, and E. Lily Yu. I knew of many of these authors beforehand, but the only ones I’m really familiar with are Becky Chambers and Seanan McGuire. And with McGuire I’ve only ever read one book and one short story, so I was going in with not much in the way of expectations. I wasn’t exactly disappointed in this anthology, but I think my expectations might have been a bit high. (The last two anthologies I have read were From a Certain Point of View: The Empire Strikes Back and The Book of Dragons, both of which were absolutely stellar.) (Pun intended.) Nothing in here was bad by any stretch, but at the same time this didn’t send me rushing off to add a few dozen books to Mt. Readmore. That being said, there were some excellent stories here. The standouts: * “Down in the Dim Kingdoms” by Tobias S. Buckell. A girl is taking a trip to an underground civilization, along with her grandfather who had discovered (and conquered) it in his youth. * “The Tomb Ship” by Becky Chambers. An asteroid miner finds an intact derelict, the palace warship of a long-dead tyrant of her home planet. With a fully functional A.I. * “The Return of Grace Malfrey” by Jeffrey Ford. Lovecraftian-story of a girl who disappears as a child and reappears years later, having spent the intervening time in a nightmarish other world. * “Pellargonia: A Letter to the Journal of Imaginary Anthropology” by Theodora Goss. It’s written in the form of a letter to an academic journal by three teenagers who managed, while doing a worldbuilding game, to accidentally create a real, living nation. * “The Voyage of Brenya” by Carrie Vaughn. A woman from (I would say) early Medieval Britain sets off across the ocean in a small boat, hoping to reach the land of the gods and demand they come answer her people’s prayers for aid. THE standout, for me, was “Pellargonia.” I work with teenagers in my day job, and Goss absolutely nailed this. The Strange Case of the Alchemist's Daughter is being added to the queue. Many thanks to Grim Oak for the ARC. Comes out March 8.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Annabel

    LWaMK is a collection of speculative stories that center around the idea of lost places being found, or traveling to worlds that exist in some pocket of unreachable reality and so on. It’s a fun concept, that’s for sure. Some of the stories lack a sense of setting because of the way they’re told (i.e. through customer reviews) though credit must be given to their different formats as it adds some variation to the book as a whole. I have a few (okay, maybe more than a few) favourites: Down in the LWaMK is a collection of speculative stories that center around the idea of lost places being found, or traveling to worlds that exist in some pocket of unreachable reality and so on. It’s a fun concept, that’s for sure. Some of the stories lack a sense of setting because of the way they’re told (i.e. through customer reviews) though credit must be given to their different formats as it adds some variation to the book as a whole. I have a few (okay, maybe more than a few) favourites: Down in the Dim Kingdoms, Out of the Dark, Endosymbiosis, The Orpheus Gate, The Return of Grace Malfrey, The Tomb Ship and Pellargonia. These ones have drawn me in either because they make me more curious about the world the stories inhabit and/or the characters have made such distinct and interesting decisions that I want to know more about them. Now, a tangent: I think the cover is doing the book a disservice. A majority of the stories could (primarily) be categorized as sci-fi, a few as fantasy and even fewer in that supernatural realm. Even though the cover is a good concept and follows the direction of uncovering lost land, it reads "fantasy" to me and as such made me expect more fantasy stories. We should not judge books by their covers but damnit do I think they affect our expectations of the book. While I wish there’s a different cover that reflects the broad speculative scope of the book, I understand that the main intention of a business is to make money, and for publishers, fantasy is easier to market/sell than sci-fi, hence this cover. Thanks to Netgalley and Grim Oak Press for providing me with the e-ARC in exchange for an honest review.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Evan Ladouceur

    John Joseph Adam’s is a leading SF editor and anthologist and he has assembled a stellar group of authors for this lost worlds anthology. I found many of the stories excellent but judged the overall effort somewhat uneven. Some stories were slight, albeit entertaining, like “Comfort Lodge Enigma Valley”, a series of quirky hotel reviews which offer no explanation or conclusion but do intrigue and entertain. I found a good chunk of the book less entertaining, with many of the stories grim and dev John Joseph Adam’s is a leading SF editor and anthologist and he has assembled a stellar group of authors for this lost worlds anthology. I found many of the stories excellent but judged the overall effort somewhat uneven. Some stories were slight, albeit entertaining, like “Comfort Lodge Enigma Valley”, a series of quirky hotel reviews which offer no explanation or conclusion but do intrigue and entertain. I found a good chunk of the book less entertaining, with many of the stories grim and devoid of hope; I want at least some new worlds to provide wonder and positivity. I also found several of the stories to finish before a big reveal a big reveal, to end rather than conclude. The anthology concluded, however, on a strong note, with welcome stories by Becky Chambers, Theodora Goss, and Cadwell Turnbull, which all worked well for me.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Kelly

    This will be a short and sweet review as this book just wasn't my cup of tea. Most of these stories were a little too science fiction for my taste, that being said they were in no way bad stories at all. Most of them were highly imaginative and some were downright creepy. Lots of references to hollow earth and dystopian futures and the like, so if that's your jam these short stories should be right up your alley. So while it wasn't something I'd purchase for myself I plan on picking up a copy fo This will be a short and sweet review as this book just wasn't my cup of tea. Most of these stories were a little too science fiction for my taste, that being said they were in no way bad stories at all. Most of them were highly imaginative and some were downright creepy. Lots of references to hollow earth and dystopian futures and the like, so if that's your jam these short stories should be right up your alley. So while it wasn't something I'd purchase for myself I plan on picking up a copy for my husband because he'd absolutely love these stories. Which is why this is 3.5 stars rounded to four. Like I said not my thing but for those who are into this sort of story I think they'll really love it. Thanks to Netgalley and the people at Grim Oak Press for allowing me to read this ARC.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Goran Lowie

    “Lost Worlds and Mythological Kingdoms” is an anthology of exactly that- 17 all-new stories about discovering or re-discovering forgotten lands and mythological places. These stories are varied and almost all of particularly high quality, with many interesting and unique takes on the trope. Highly recommend if you’re a fan of these types of stories! The Light Long Lost at Sea (4/5) The first story in this is already an interesting one. On first sight, it appears people have discovered a remnant of “Lost Worlds and Mythological Kingdoms” is an anthology of exactly that- 17 all-new stories about discovering or re-discovering forgotten lands and mythological places. These stories are varied and almost all of particularly high quality, with many interesting and unique takes on the trope. Highly recommend if you’re a fan of these types of stories! The Light Long Lost at Sea (4/5) The first story in this is already an interesting one. On first sight, it appears people have discovered a remnant of the old empire- underwater ruins in a post-magic society. But forgotten things are often infused with old magic... The Cleft of Bones (3.5/5) A community of slaves has to hide for a tsunami, discovering a forgotten place while doing so. A well-told story, in a developed-feeling world. Another story that doesn't entirely feel like a classic adventure story discovering lost worlds. The Voyage of Brenya (4.5/5) Here's the "mythological"' part! A women desperate to save her people from raiders decides to travel to the West by boat, to the land of the gods. Comfort Lodge, Enigma Valley (3.5/5) A very fun Calvino-esque story of some magical lodge told in the way of customer reviews. The Expedition Stops for the Evening at the Foot of the Mountain Pass (2.5/5) This one never felt like it went anywhere. An intermezzo, a break during an expedition, with a bit too much left unsaid for me. Down in the Dim Kingdoms (4/5) A conquistador discovered a city in the center of the earth. Now, decades later, he visits with his family right before the place is about to become a tourist hotspot. His legacy is explored. Succinct! Reminded me of Silverberg's Downward to the Earth. Those Who Have Gone (4/5) A slower story, slowly winning me over by the end. Triss and her asshole boyfriend are traveling through a national park in the United States, a place so big it might as well be a country of its own. Much of it is still unexplored-- who knows, there might even be people living there? Feels like a parable. An Account, by Dr. Ingle Kühn, of the Summer Expedition and Its Discoveries (3/5) On a dying Earth, scientists in Antarctica discover an underground city. Another slower story, written like a diary. Out of the Dark (4/5) An anthropological story of two people landing on a planet where the colonists of old have reverted to a more primitive way of living (think Planet of Exile). The two scientists now face a conundrum: do they report this place as no longer having "civilized" (described as sapient in the story, but it amounts to the same thing) life, which would lead to the destruction of these people, or do they let them be? Endosymbiosis (3/5) More of a horror story, discovering Lovecraftian creatures. The Orpheus Gate (2/5) A story about ghosts and spirits. Not my cup of tea, never has been. Well-written though, and I'm sure it's a nice story if it's your type of thing. Hotel Motel Holiday Inn (1/5) Another disappointing story... Contemporary tale of a hotel, not much interesting happened in it. On the Cold Hill Side (4.5) Fantastic! According to local legend, the island of Harbor's Hope keeps disappearing and re-appearing every hundred years or so. This story explores what happens when legends become real, and islands appear out of thin air. The Return of Grace Malfrey (3.5) A similar story, but instead of an island it's a girl. Grave disappeared one day, from one moment to the next. Now, ten years later, she falls out of the sky on a parking lot. What happened in those ten years? Where has she been? The Tomb Ship (4.5) When Laym discovers an ancient spaceship of legend, she can't believe her eyes. History will have to be re-contexualised, and choices will have to be made... The only story in this that's actually set in space, and it's a great one! Pellargonia: A Letter to the Journal of Imaginary Anthropology (4/5) A group of friends imagine a country and it becomes real. This epistolary story explores the consequences of this event. There, She Didn't Need Air to Fill Her Lungs (3/5) Magic and hills! A fun story, but nothing particularly special. Disclaimer: I received an ARC of this in exchange for an honest review.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Heather Anderson

    3.5 stars Being newer to the sci-fi and fantasy world, I thought this would be a good way to get a taste of a variety of authors in one go. It also reminded me why I'm wary of short stories - they leave me wanting more! Like any collection, some offerings were more appealing than others. Running the gamut from gimmicky (a story told only through motel reviews) to dark (a young girl disappears into another world where she's forced to sort human hands), I found the collection as a whole enjoyable. T 3.5 stars Being newer to the sci-fi and fantasy world, I thought this would be a good way to get a taste of a variety of authors in one go. It also reminded me why I'm wary of short stories - they leave me wanting more! Like any collection, some offerings were more appealing than others. Running the gamut from gimmicky (a story told only through motel reviews) to dark (a young girl disappears into another world where she's forced to sort human hands), I found the collection as a whole enjoyable. The strongest offerings for me were from Becky Chambers (The Tomb Ship) about a space traveler with a moral dilemma and The Cold Hill Side by Seanan McGuire about a disappearing island. I found the cover of this book misleading as its visuals lean fantasy but this collection is much more the realm of speculative fiction. I only remember one or 2 stories that I would categorize as fantasy. Fine by me, but others may feel differently if they were looking for more fantasy. Special thanks to the publisher and NetGalley for a free, electronic ARC of this novel received in exchange for an honest review.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Kopratic

    The writing cast of this anthology is such a strong one. Talk about all star! Individually, I don't think there was a bad story. There were some stories that didn't really resonate with me, but I don't think any of them were bad. Two absolute standouts were one framed as a series of Yelp-like reviews and another one dealing with an Antarctic exploration post-polar ice cap melt. Ultimately, however, I didn't find myself the biggest fan of this anthology overall. I thought it felt too crammed; som The writing cast of this anthology is such a strong one. Talk about all star! Individually, I don't think there was a bad story. There were some stories that didn't really resonate with me, but I don't think any of them were bad. Two absolute standouts were one framed as a series of Yelp-like reviews and another one dealing with an Antarctic exploration post-polar ice cap melt. Ultimately, however, I didn't find myself the biggest fan of this anthology overall. I thought it felt too crammed; some stories got lost in the shuffle and ended up being a bit forgettable. I also felt that the ordering of the stories felt a bit random. It's hard to put my finger on. But for me I think these stories are stronger on their own rather than all together. I think it would've been better as a smaller collection (or two smaller ones), maybe a fantasy-leaning one and then a sci-fi leaning one. All in all, I wasn't the biggest fan but still found things to enjoy.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Jacq.and.the.readstalk

    2.5 An average read and compilation. It wasn't a very cohesive anthology. There were some good stories and some were lacklustre. I thought it would be more fantasy rather sci-fi/speculative fiction which was disheartening. I couldn't connect with most of the stories. The cover and title are misleading as they paint a picture of fantasy lands or retellings of famous fictional lands, Theodora Goss and Seanan McGuire are my favourite storytellers, so naturally I thoroughly enjoyed their stories. The 2.5 An average read and compilation. It wasn't a very cohesive anthology. There were some good stories and some were lacklustre. I thought it would be more fantasy rather sci-fi/speculative fiction which was disheartening. I couldn't connect with most of the stories. The cover and title are misleading as they paint a picture of fantasy lands or retellings of famous fictional lands, Theodora Goss and Seanan McGuire are my favourite storytellers, so naturally I thoroughly enjoyed their stories. The others didn't quite hit the mark for me. Thankyou to Netgalley and Grim Oak Press for this eARC in exchange for an honest review.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Megan

    *I received an eARC via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.* In an age where there is little of the world that remains unexplored, is there still space for the "Here Be Dragons" type stories of Atlantis, El Dorado, Shangri-La, etc? This collection of short stories aims to answer that question and I think it does a pretty good job of it. I was a little nervous as I didn't really jive with the first 2 or 3 stories, but ultimately there were far more hits than misses for me. I was surprised b *I received an eARC via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.* In an age where there is little of the world that remains unexplored, is there still space for the "Here Be Dragons" type stories of Atlantis, El Dorado, Shangri-La, etc? This collection of short stories aims to answer that question and I think it does a pretty good job of it. I was a little nervous as I didn't really jive with the first 2 or 3 stories, but ultimately there were far more hits than misses for me. I was surprised by the percentage of sci-fi leaning stories versus fantasy leaning ones. I was expecting more fantasy, but I would categorize most of the stories as sci-fi or sci-fantasy. That being said, I think it kind of fits because the two most unexplored places of our time are the ocean and space both of which, to me, feel more science fiction than typical fantasy. I particularly loved: • Comfort Lodge, Enigma Valley (Charles Yu) - a series of motel guest reviews get strange • Down in the Dim Kingdoms (Tobias S. Buckell) - a take on civilization at the center of the Earth that gets dark • Those Who Have Gone (C.C. Finlay) - not going to lie, this one got to me because I am terrified of the desert • The Orpheus Gate (Jonathan Maberry) - ghosts, portals to second dimensions, physics, and real life scientists and historical figures make for a fascinating conversation • On the Cold Hill Side (Seanan McGuire) - a disappearing and reappearing island off the coast of Maine and a protagonist who works for the US government to weaponize folklore • Pellargonia: A Letter to the journal of Imaginary Anthropology (Theodora Goss) - the interruptions and footnotes got a little excessive for the length of the story in my opinion, but I still loved the premise of a group of high schoolers accidentally creating a new country and it getting out of control

  14. 5 out of 5

    Graculus

    At the outset, this seemed like an ideal book for me to pick up, a collection of short fiction around the concept of lost worlds, but unfortunately it just didn't really live up to my expectations. There are some very good authors here, some of whose other work I've enjoyed very much, but nothing here really grabbed me. Likewise, at times, the collection didn't seem to know what it wanted to do and there was no feeling of theme all the way through. There were a number of stories which were more S At the outset, this seemed like an ideal book for me to pick up, a collection of short fiction around the concept of lost worlds, but unfortunately it just didn't really live up to my expectations. There are some very good authors here, some of whose other work I've enjoyed very much, but nothing here really grabbed me. Likewise, at times, the collection didn't seem to know what it wanted to do and there was no feeling of theme all the way through. There were a number of stories which were more SF than fantasy (the Becky Chambers story, one of the better ones in my view, was decidedly far more this) and that didn't quite seem to fit with the supposed premise. I was more than a little disappointed, to be honest. I received a free copy of this book from the publishers, via Netgalley. This is my honest review of the book in question.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Dawn

    "Lost Worlds & Mythological Kingdoms" is a fine collection of stories written by an even finer selection of authors. To be fair, each story was firmly in my comfort zone in terms of writing styles, content, and characters, so they all had an advantage! I only wish the words "Volume 1" was tagged onto the title - I'd love to throw myself into another volume. My thanks to the authors, publisher, and NetGalley. This review was written voluntarily and is entirely my own, unbiased, opinion. "Lost Worlds & Mythological Kingdoms" is a fine collection of stories written by an even finer selection of authors. To be fair, each story was firmly in my comfort zone in terms of writing styles, content, and characters, so they all had an advantage! I only wish the words "Volume 1" was tagged onto the title - I'd love to throw myself into another volume. My thanks to the authors, publisher, and NetGalley. This review was written voluntarily and is entirely my own, unbiased, opinion.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Engel Dreizehn

    Arc Copy...It is a good, decent anthology of various different genres across the Sci-fi and Fantasy spectrum. In-addition with the common-tying theme of venturing into an unknown and often weird "other world", which I enjoyed. Arc Copy...It is a good, decent anthology of various different genres across the Sci-fi and Fantasy spectrum. In-addition with the common-tying theme of venturing into an unknown and often weird "other world", which I enjoyed.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Marlene

    Originally published at Reading Reality Here there be dragons – or so say the old maps. Or so they say the old maps say – although not so much as people think they did. Just the same, once upon a time the map of the ‘real’ world used to have more blank spaces in it. Long distance travel was difficult and time-consuming, long distance communication was an impossible dream, life was short and the road was too long to even be imagined. But speaking of imagining, I imagine that every place’s known and Originally published at Reading Reality Here there be dragons – or so say the old maps. Or so they say the old maps say – although not so much as people think they did. Just the same, once upon a time the map of the ‘real’ world used to have more blank spaces in it. Long distance travel was difficult and time-consuming, long distance communication was an impossible dream, life was short and the road was too long to even be imagined. But speaking of imagining, I imagine that every place’s known and unknown stretches were different – but in the way back each city, country, people or location only had so much reach and stretch. And then there was the era of European exploration and eventually industrialization. For good or ill, and quite frequently ill, those blank places on the map got smaller and were filled in. Which didn’t stop and probably downright inspired a whole library’s worth of stories about imaginary places that might exist whether on – or in – this planet or those nearby. But as the terra become increasingly cognita, the well of those stories dried up. Which does not mean that the urge to explore what might be beyond the farthest horizon has in any way faded. This is a collection intended to feed that human impulse to go where no one has gone before – and report back about it before we invade it with, well, ourselves. Some of the stories that explore that next frontier are fantasy, some are science fiction, and a few trip over that line from fantasy into horror. And they’re all here, vividly described to make the reader want to be there. Or be extremely grateful that they are NOT. Escape Rating B: Like nearly all such collections, Lost Worlds and Mythological Kingdoms has some hits, some misses and one or two WTF did I just read? in a convenient package for exploration. Let’s get the WTF’ery out of the way so we can move on to the good stuff. The two stories that were set in strange hotels, Comfort Lodge, Enigma Valley and Hotel Motel Holiday Inn just did not land for me at all. The second made a bit more sense than the first but neither worked for me. Of course, YMMV on both or either of those particular trips. Three stories were misses – at least from my perspective. They weren’t bad, they just didn’t quite live up to their premise. Or something like that. The Light Long Lost at Sea was a bit too in medias res. There’s a world there with lots of interesting backstory but what we got was more of a teaser than a story with a satisfying ending. The Expedition Stops for the Evening at the Foot of the Mountain Pass had some of that same feel, like there was huge setup for the story somewhere else and we weren’t getting it. But we needed it. The Return of Grace Malfrey is one that had a fascinating premise that kind of fizzled out. One story in the collection hit my real-o-meter a bit too sharply. That was Those Who Have Gone. It does get itself into the “did I find a hidden civilization or was I dreaming?” thing very, very well, but the way it got there was through a young woman on a scary desert trip with her 30something boyfriend who she is rightfully extremely afraid of. That part was so real it overwhelmed the fantasy place she fell into. There were a bunch of stories that I liked as I was reading them, but just didn’t hit the top of my scale. They are still good, still enjoyable, and hit the right note between teasing their premise and satisfying it. In no particular order, these were Down in the Dim Kingdoms, An Account, by Dr. Inge Kuhn, of the Summer Expedition and Its Discoveries, Endosymbiosis and There, She Didn’t Need Air to Fill Her Lungs. Last, but very much not least, the stories I plan to put on my Hugo Ballot next year, because they were utterly awesome. The Cleft of Bones by Kate Elliott, a story about slavery, revolution and rebirth as seen through the eyes of an absolutely fascinating character. The Voyage of Brenya by Carrie Vaughn, which is a story about gods and heroes and the way that stories turn into myths and legends. Out of the Dark by James L. Cambias, one of two space opera stories, this time about a corporate hegemonies, a salvage crew consisting of lifelong rivals, and a pre/post spacefaring civilization in which Doctor Who’s Leela would have been right at home. Three stories were utter gems from start to finish. Pellargonia: A Letter to the Journal of Imaginary Anthropology by Theodora Goss, which consists entirely of a letter written to the afore-mentioned journal by three high school students who took the founding principles of the journal – that imaginary anthropology could create real countries – and ran with it all the way into Wikipedia, the nightly news, and a civil war that has captured one of their fathers somewhere that never should have existed in the first place. The Orpheus Gate by Jonathan Maberry reaches back to the Golden Age of lost kingdom stories by taking the utterly science driven great granddaughter of Professor George Edward Challenger (hero of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s The Lost World) and putting her on a collision course with a friend of her great grandmother’s – a woman who challenges the scientist’s belief in everything rational and provable in order to force the young woman to finally open her mind to a truth she does not even want to imagine, let alone believe. And finally, The Tomb Ship by Becky Chambers, which is a story about a loophole, about the evil that humans do in the name of a so-called ‘Greater Good’, and just how easy it is to fall into the trap and how hard it is to even think of a better way. Or even just a way that lets the protagonist sleep at night with a somewhat clear conscience. That it also feels like a tiny bit of an Easter Egg for The Outer Wilds was just the right icing on this gold-plated cake of a story.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Faith Hurst-Bilinski

    I always love picking up an anthology So I can find new authors to read. Lost Worlds and Mythological Kingdoms gave me names to add to my list of one’s to watch. This thing is getting so long! Of course there were also some well loved authors offering up interesting short stories; some in step with what they write everyday and some as a way to step away from their usual.. I didn’t find any stories in this anthology that I did not enjoy. That is unusual. To highlight a few that stood out for me: C I always love picking up an anthology So I can find new authors to read. Lost Worlds and Mythological Kingdoms gave me names to add to my list of one’s to watch. This thing is getting so long! Of course there were also some well loved authors offering up interesting short stories; some in step with what they write everyday and some as a way to step away from their usual.. I didn’t find any stories in this anthology that I did not enjoy. That is unusual. To highlight a few that stood out for me: Comfort Lodge, Enigma Valley By Charles I don’t know where Enigma Valley is and the Yelp reviews for this lodge really leave me conflicted about whether or not I would want to go there. Yes, I said Yelp reviews. This entire short story is written in a series of weirder and weirder Yelp reviews going backwards in time (someone set their preferences to “Newest First”). I loved the format even though it was slightly awkward. I’ve gone down a few Yelp rabbit holes in my time. I wish there were more casual references to Hidden Kingdoms, Gates, and Voices in the ones I have read. Really, any casual reference to the supernatural would be appreciated. I’ve seen Charles Yu’s name so many times that I was surprised when I looked through his titles that I had never read any. List slightly longer. Those Who Have Gone By CC Finlay A couple who are obviously on very different wavelengths take a trip to the desert in Arizona. You know how some people are afraid of forest or mountains? I don’t get it but people visit me in my mountain home and are afraid to sit outside at night. Well, that is me about the desert. So the setting was already creepy for me. Add a woman who is trying to find a way to break up with her volatile boyfriend as they head out on a desert camping trip. They find themselves ambushed but you really end up cheering on the ambushers, as one of the ambushees really deserves it. The entire thing was subtly terrifying. CC Finlay is being added to the list. Aberry- The Orpheus Gate By Jonathan Maberry Not a new name for me. As a matter of fact it was searching this name that brought me to this anthology. Maberry has a way of mixing science and supernatural in a way that reminds me of ``1970s horror movies. As a child I actually thought that every university must have a paranormal wing that they were mebarrassed about but somehow allowed to stay. In that tradition is Jessica, a serious scientist burdened by the pseudoscientific legacy of her great grandfather (G2, that’s great and I will use it with my parents when my brand new granddaughter can speak). The question, what if ghosts were people who had crossed dimensions and then been stuck there even after their body, left behind, died? Would you mess with the order of the universe to free them if you could? Would it influence your decision to know that one of these people was related to you? The moral dilemmas of changing the world, even the supernatural world, are not concrete. Hotel Motel Holiday Inn By Dexter Palmer Another name I already have read and loved, but what got me was the Rapper’s Delight title. This one is weird but really speaks to anyone who has traveled a lot. I’ve driven every state, not just because flying makes people even harder to be around, but because I want to experience this huge country. This is a rambling monologue of a traveler sharing some of the secrets of the well-traveled. I can’t even put a finger on why this story made me smile. It spoke to me and the wanderer that has been housed for the past two years. There are a lot of other fantastical stories here. These appealed to me most, but I think there is something for everyone here.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Heather K Veitch

    Lost Worlds and Mythological Kingdoms is a collection of short stories from a variety of names within science fiction and fantasy, and edited by John Joseph Adams. It features seventeen stories which have, at their centre, the concept of a lost world and/or mythological kingdom, hence the title. This anthology was a bit of a mixed bag for me, as there were some stories which really blew me away and others which I found to be less engaging. The standouts for me were: The Light Long Lost at Sea by Lost Worlds and Mythological Kingdoms is a collection of short stories from a variety of names within science fiction and fantasy, and edited by John Joseph Adams. It features seventeen stories which have, at their centre, the concept of a lost world and/or mythological kingdom, hence the title. This anthology was a bit of a mixed bag for me, as there were some stories which really blew me away and others which I found to be less engaging. The standouts for me were: The Light Long Lost at Sea by An Owomoyela - A great story with which to start this collection, this features an old world rediscovered under the sea. However, old worlds carry old magic, and consequences arise. Add to this mix a tangled story of old love, unrequited love, and women loving women, which meant I really enjoyed it. The Cleft of Bones by Kate Elliott - This was a beautiful and poignant story revolving around a tsunami approaching a hidden kingdom, and the slaves who need to both raise the alarm and hide from the onrush of water. A great read, and I loved the central character, Ula. The Voyage of Brenya by Carrie Vaughn - A fun story which initially reminded me of Moana (but shook that off very quickly), with a host of characters and old gods. I loved the Goddess in particular. Down in the Dim Kingdoms by Tobias S. Buckell - Dark, horrific, and brutal — but utterly captivating — this journey to the kingdom at the centre of the earth had warring families, generational trauma, colonialism, and legacy. Those Who Have Gone by C.C. Finlay - I wasn’t sure about this one at first, but the nurse won me over. This story, following a girl and her horrid boyfriend on a trip across a huge, reimagined national park in the USA, had some good characters and the concepts of choice and personal integrity were well handled. The Orpheus Gate by Jonathan Maberry - This story reminded me, in parts, of A. J. West’s amazing debut novel, The Spirit Engineer, but only insofar as it featured ghosts, spirits, Arthur Conan Doyle, and mediumship. I really enjoyed this twist on what ghosts and spirits are, how they communicate, and how humanity could help them. Really thought-provoking. On the Cold Hill Side by Seanan McGuire - Another story which won me over part-way through, this featured an island which appears and disappears off the coast of Maine, USA, at various points in history. The build-up was great and I didn’t click as to the importance of dates until the reveal. A great read! Overall, this was a good collection of stories which delighted me for an evening. I’d love to see more of the worlds created in the stories by Owomoyela, Elliott, Vaughn, and Maberry in particular, but there’s something for everyone here. All the stories take on the tropes of lost worlds and mythological kingdoms and handle them well; within this collection there are worlds under the sea, down in the centre of the Earth, far in the depths of space, alternate universes, and fantasy kingdoms. It would serve as a great introduction to any of these authors, or a fantastical escape for any lover of the genre. I received an e-ARC from the publisher, Grim Oak Press, through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Joy

    This anthology of short stories by well-known SFF writers promised 'Lost Worlds and Mythological Kingdoms' with the cover art pointing to a spot marked 'Here Be Dragons.' I was rather disappointed with the results of this prompt. Here's the order I read them in: There, She Didn't Need Air to Fill Her Lungs by Cadwell Turnbull 3.5/5 - I really liked Turnbull's full length speculative fiction novel No Gods, No Monsters read last year. Here a group of graduate students at an American university take This anthology of short stories by well-known SFF writers promised 'Lost Worlds and Mythological Kingdoms' with the cover art pointing to a spot marked 'Here Be Dragons.' I was rather disappointed with the results of this prompt. Here's the order I read them in: There, She Didn't Need Air to Fill Her Lungs by Cadwell Turnbull 3.5/5 - I really liked Turnbull's full length speculative fiction novel No Gods, No Monsters read last year. Here a group of graduate students at an American university take a trip to Nepal to find a mythological tree on Fishtail Peak. One of them Maya is originally from Nepal so it's a homecoming of sorts while others are from St Croix, Mexico etc. I think it's about the code-switching and personality splitting that one has to do when living abroad stranded from one's true self. Endosymbiosis by Darcie Little Badger 2/5 - A South Asian Oceanography graduate student Jul tries to back out of an expedition due to her nephew being injured. But her evil white thesis advisor and PI won't let her! The team encounter some kind of giant squid at sea and tragedy ensues. I usually like reading about POC female scientists but the execution of this one left a lot to be desired. Pellargonia: A Letter to the Journal of Imaginary Anthropology by Theodora Goss - A group of female high schoolers discover.... skimmed, couldn't be bothered to finish The Light Long Lost at Sea by An Owomoyela 4.25/5 - This is the only story in the whole collection whose characters and worldbuilding intrigued me. Down in the Dim Kingdoms by Tobias S. Buckell 2.5/5 - This story has interesting valid points to make about colonialism and so-called explorers that are venerated being ruthless murderers. The teenage female protagonist is written to be shocking but I found her predictable and spoiled. An Account, by Dr. Inge Kuhn, of the Summer Expedition and Its Discoveries by E. Lily Yu - I usually love Yu's short stories but this one couldn't capture my interest. The Voyage of Brenya by Carrie Vaughn 2.25/5 Agree with the reviewer who said this had Moana vibes. Female adolescent sets off alone in boat to get help from the gods in the west for her beleagured island. Encounters talking tern and whale. Are we in a Disney movie?! Finally meets the 'gods' who can magically understand her, I guess there's no linguistics differences in this world /s. Moral of this simplistic story is a society builds up and passes down their myths and stories, which may not be true. Who knew? Comfort Lodge, Enigma Valley by Charles Yu 3/5 - Somewhat creative, the entire story consists of Yelp reviews of a Comfort Lodge which has very strange properties. Thanks to Grim Oak Press for providing an eARC via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Abbey

    This is such a fun collection! The lost civilisation/hidden kingdom trope has become relatively rare in the modern world and most of the classics were written by dead white men - so this feels like a great moment for this collection, which is modern and diverse and just so delightfully imaginative. All the authors do something different with the core idea of lost worlds and mythological kingdoms, and all the results are interesting and fun to read. My stand out favourites of the collection were, This is such a fun collection! The lost civilisation/hidden kingdom trope has become relatively rare in the modern world and most of the classics were written by dead white men - so this feels like a great moment for this collection, which is modern and diverse and just so delightfully imaginative. All the authors do something different with the core idea of lost worlds and mythological kingdoms, and all the results are interesting and fun to read. My stand out favourites of the collection were, firstly, the penultimate story, Pellargonia: A Letter to the Journal of Imaginary Anthropology, by Theodora Goss, which hit several of my sweet spots with its emphasis on the blurry lines between story and reality, with its epistolary format (with annotations), and the way something that seems fun at first just goes so completely and utterly off the rails that it seems like disaster. Secondly, the first story of the collection, The Light Long Lost at Sea, by An Owomoyela which is one of those stories where the main thread is about the interplay between characters around a specific issue, set against such a fascinating, complex backdrop of magic and history that I would sign up to read a whole novel - no, a whole series - about this world without the slightest hesitation. Thirdly, An Account, by Dr. Inge Kühn, of the Summer Expedition and Its Discoveries, by E. Lily Yu, which not only had a super interesting lost community but some wonderfully crunchy decisions for the characters to make, and I was so SO interested in those decisions and their consequences. Fourthly, Adger Endosymbiosis, by Darcie Little Badger, which had a little bit of creepiness, which I loved, and especially the ending, and, again, characters making difficult decisions which have consequences. The idea behind this particular lost world was absolutely delicious to me. Looking through my notes is making me want to go through every story, but that would make for a very unwieldy review, so I'll just say other favourites were Comfort Lodge, Enigma Valley, by Charles Yu (a really fun format with a tantalising hidden world), The Orpheus Gate, by Jonathan Maberry (super weird and entertaining), On the Cold Hill Side, by Seanan McGuire (it's so nice to see disabled people explicitly acknowledged and evidently living their best lives), The Tomb Ship, by Becky Chambers (a really unique take on the whole idea of a lost world), and There, She Didn't Need Air to Fill Her Lungs, by Caldwell Turnbull (there was an oddness in the storytelling that was finally explained at the end which made the story so fun to read). I really recommend this collection for anyone who fancies a modern, diverse take on the whole lost world/mythological kingdom idea. Thanks to Netgalley for the ARC.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Lori L (She Treads Softly)

    Lost Worlds & Mythological Kingdoms, edited by John Joseph Adams, is a highly recommended anthology of science fiction/speculative or alternate reality short stories. Much akin to Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's The Lost World, this anthology focuses on lost places, adventures, undiscovered realities, mysteries, or new parts of our world. The collected stories cover the gamut from spectacular to mediocre. The span between the excellent and inadequate seemed a bit greater than what is normally found in a Lost Worlds & Mythological Kingdoms, edited by John Joseph Adams, is a highly recommended anthology of science fiction/speculative or alternate reality short stories. Much akin to Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's The Lost World, this anthology focuses on lost places, adventures, undiscovered realities, mysteries, or new parts of our world. The collected stories cover the gamut from spectacular to mediocre. The span between the excellent and inadequate seemed a bit greater than what is normally found in anthologies, but perhaps that was only my experience. My rating is based on the majority of the stories which I liked enough to highly recommended the whole collection. One of the weakest stories was the first one for me, which actually had me considering setting this collection aside. Contents include: "The Light Long Lost at Sea" by An Owomoyela; "The Cleft of Bones" by Kate Elliott; "The Voyage of Brenya " by Carrie Vaughn; "Comfort Lodge, Enigma Valley" by Charles Yu; "The Expedition Stops for the Evening at the Foot of the Mountain Pass" by Genevieve Valentine; "Down in the Dim Kingdoms" by Tobias S. Buckell; "Those Who Have Gone" by C.C. Finlay; "An Account, by Dr. Inge Kühn, of the Summer Expedition and Its Discoveries" by E. Lily Yu; "Out of the Dark" by James L. Cambias; "Endosymbiosis" by Darcie Little Badger; "The Orpheus Gate" by Jonathan Maberry; "Hotel Motel Holiday Inn" by Dexter Palmer; "On the Cold Hill Side" by Seanan McGuire; "The Return of Grace Malfrey" by Jeffrey Ford; "The Tomb Ship" by Becky Chambers; "Pellargonia: A Letter to the Journal of Imaginary Anthropology" by Theodora Goss; "There, She Didn’t Need Air to Fill Her Lungs" by Cadwell Turnbull. Disclosure: My review copy was courtesy of Grim Oaks Press via NetGalley. http://www.shetreadssoftly.com/2022/0...

  23. 4 out of 5

    Ian

    *I received this ARC from Netgalley.co.uk for free in exchange for an honest review. I don't always read the introductions to books, but I'm glad I did this time. The books that Adams cites as inspiration; King Solomon's Mines, The Lost World, etc. were some of my favourite stories as a young teenager. Reading through this collection of stories instantly transported me back to those times. It was such a satisfying feeling of nostalgia mixed with entirely new characters and stories. A very effect *I received this ARC from Netgalley.co.uk for free in exchange for an honest review. I don't always read the introductions to books, but I'm glad I did this time. The books that Adams cites as inspiration; King Solomon's Mines, The Lost World, etc. were some of my favourite stories as a young teenager. Reading through this collection of stories instantly transported me back to those times. It was such a satisfying feeling of nostalgia mixed with entirely new characters and stories. A very effective modernisation of an old genre. I won't review each story separately, but my favourites were this subset; Comfort Lodge, Enigma Valley by Charles Yu The Voyage of Brenya by Carrie Vaughn Down in the Dim Kingdoms by Tobias S. Buckell Hotel Motel Holiday Inn by Dexter Palmer On the Cold Hill Side by Seanan McGuire Pellargonia: A Letter to the Journal of Imaginary Anthropology by Theodora Goss I would give the average rating of all the stories a 3,5/5 but all of the above were at least a 4. I would also say there were no stories that I thought were genuinely bad or poorly written. Which I was pleasantly surprised by. You would think with the law of averages, there would be at least one I disliked, but no. There was true quality in the selection of authors and their submitted work. I would happily recommend it to fans of anthologies and the old tales of adventure.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Bethany

    3 stars This review is based on an ARC ebook received for free from NetGalley. I am not being paid to review this book and what I write here is my own opinion. My rating scale is below. After two unremarkable stories, this anthology finds its footing with “The Voyage of Brenya,” “Comfort Lodge, Enigma Valley,” “The Expedition Stops for the Evening at the Foot of the Mountain Pass,” and “Down in the Dim Kingdoms.” Then it enters a seven-story slump before perking up for Seanan McGuire, Becky Chambe 3 stars This review is based on an ARC ebook received for free from NetGalley. I am not being paid to review this book and what I write here is my own opinion. My rating scale is below. After two unremarkable stories, this anthology finds its footing with “The Voyage of Brenya,” “Comfort Lodge, Enigma Valley,” “The Expedition Stops for the Evening at the Foot of the Mountain Pass,” and “Down in the Dim Kingdoms.” Then it enters a seven-story slump before perking up for Seanan McGuire, Becky Chambers, and Theodora Goss (with an interruption from Jeffrey Ford that’s more horror than anything else in this book) only to end on an (ironically) anticlimactic magical realism story about summiting a mountain. I did not find much that was memorable in ten of the stories, but to be honest, finding seven stories in the same anthology that I liked as well as I liked these is pretty unusual. I think I would purchase this book in paperback if I could find it used (which is about as good as it gets for anthologies for me). rating scale 1 star - I was barely able to finish it. I didn't like it. 2 stars - It was okay. I didn't dislike it. 3 stars - It was interesting. I liked it. 4 stars - It was excellent. I really liked it. 5 stars - It was extraordinary. I really hope the author wrote more things.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Jim

    Lost Worlds and Mythological Kingdoms is a collection of seventeen fantasy and science fiction stories about other worlds, on this planet or elsewhere. I was attracted to this book by the cover of a hand pointing to a symbol on the map and the caption “Hic sunt dracones“, “here be dragons“. Like any collection, some offerings were more appealing than others. The stand out stories for me were “The Voyage of the Brenya” by Carrie Vaughn and “On the Cold Hill Side” by Seanan McGuire. “The Voyage of Lost Worlds and Mythological Kingdoms is a collection of seventeen fantasy and science fiction stories about other worlds, on this planet or elsewhere. I was attracted to this book by the cover of a hand pointing to a symbol on the map and the caption “Hic sunt dracones“, “here be dragons“. Like any collection, some offerings were more appealing than others. The stand out stories for me were “The Voyage of the Brenya” by Carrie Vaughn and “On the Cold Hill Side” by Seanan McGuire. “The Voyage of the Brenya” sees a young woman heading west across the ocean in her currach to find why the Gods had abandoned her village that had been subject to numerous raids. “On the Cold Hill Side” is about an island which goes through a cycle of appearing and disappearing. “Comfort Lodge, Enigma Hill” by Charles Yu, was very enigmatic, a story told through accommodation reviews, alongside the bizarre happenings in the reviews were mundane observations like the eggs being good. There didn’t seem much connection between the stories and I felt it could havebegun with a stronger story, some of the strongest stories were towards the end of the collection. I received an eARC via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. My rating 3 out of 5

  26. 4 out of 5

    Tori Niewohner

    As to be expected with a short story anthology, the quality of the stories was pretty variable. I loved the theme of the anthology, but not every story hit the mark for me. I'm going to divide the stories below into categories of Loved, Liked, Meh, and Disliked. Loved: Comfort Lodge, Enigma Valley by Charles Yu An Account, by Dr. Inge Kühn, of the Summer Expedition and Its Discoveries by E. Lily Yu Endosymbosis by Darcie Little Badger The Tomb Ship by Becky Chambers Pellargonia: A Letter to the Journa As to be expected with a short story anthology, the quality of the stories was pretty variable. I loved the theme of the anthology, but not every story hit the mark for me. I'm going to divide the stories below into categories of Loved, Liked, Meh, and Disliked. Loved: Comfort Lodge, Enigma Valley by Charles Yu An Account, by Dr. Inge Kühn, of the Summer Expedition and Its Discoveries by E. Lily Yu Endosymbosis by Darcie Little Badger The Tomb Ship by Becky Chambers Pellargonia: A Letter to the Journal of Imaginary Anthropology by Theodora Goss Liked: The Cleft of Bones by Kate Elliott The Voyage of Brenya by Carrie Vaugn Down in the Dim Kingdoms by Tobias S. Buckell On the Cold Hill Side by Seanan McGuire Meh: Out of the Dark by James L. Cambias Hotel Motel Holiday Inn by Dexter Palmer There, She Didn't Need Air to Fill Her Lungs by Cadwell Turnbull Disliked: The Light Long Lost at Sea by An Owomoyela The Expedition Stops for the Evening at the Foot of the Mountain Pass by Genevieve Valentine Those Who Have Gone by C.C. Finlay The Orpheus Gate by Jonathan Maberry The Return of Grace Malfrey by Jeffrey Ford

  27. 5 out of 5

    Sonia Williams

    Short story anthologies are a great way to introduce yourself to new authors and Lost Worlds proved to be no exception. Initally attracted to this book from social media alerts and because it had stories from my favourite authors - Kate Elliot and Seanan McGuire. The anthology has 17 stories which mostly fit the brief though for some the link is tenuous. As is often the case some of the stories hit the mark for me as a reader whilst others just didn't resonate - particularly the ones which felt Short story anthologies are a great way to introduce yourself to new authors and Lost Worlds proved to be no exception. Initally attracted to this book from social media alerts and because it had stories from my favourite authors - Kate Elliot and Seanan McGuire. The anthology has 17 stories which mostly fit the brief though for some the link is tenuous. As is often the case some of the stories hit the mark for me as a reader whilst others just didn't resonate - particularly the ones which felt like an excerpt from a longer work rather than a complete story. The standout stories for me were The Cleft of Bones by Kate Elliott, Endosymbiosis by Darcie Little Badger, The Orpheus Gate by Johnathan Maberry, Hotel Motel Holiday Inn by Dexter Palmer, On the Cold Hill Side by Seanan McGuire and The Tomb Ship by Becky Chambers. Darcie Little Badger, Johnathan Maberry and Dexter Palmer are all new authors to me and I shall definitely be tracking down more of their works. This is a collection that is definitely worth exploring and my thanks to Netgalley and the publisher for access to the ARC.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Emily

    Thank you SO MUCH to NetGalley UK and the publishers at Grim Oak Press for this ARC. I was so excited to receive a copy of this anthology, as I adore exploring (fictional) new worlds and seeing where different authors will fearlessly tread. Unfortunately, some of the stories felt like they strived too hard to distance themselves from the 'expected' tropes and, as a result, struggled to meet the brief of the anthology. Subsequently, I then struggled through them when really I longed for adventure a Thank you SO MUCH to NetGalley UK and the publishers at Grim Oak Press for this ARC. I was so excited to receive a copy of this anthology, as I adore exploring (fictional) new worlds and seeing where different authors will fearlessly tread. Unfortunately, some of the stories felt like they strived too hard to distance themselves from the 'expected' tropes and, as a result, struggled to meet the brief of the anthology. Subsequently, I then struggled through them when really I longed for adventure and starry-eyed exploration. Speaking of stars, the highlight of this collection, for me, was definitely Becky Chamber's story, which I happily would have read as an extended piece of writing. I also really enjoyed the offerings by Theodora Goss and Seanan McGuire. Overall, however, the quality of this anthology felt mismatched for me- with high peaks and murky depths abound. This is always a pro and con of short story anthologies though and 'Lost Worlds, Mythological Kingdoms' is definitely a prime way for readers explore samples from a variety of authors.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Ellie at BookBucket

    https://book-bucket.com/2022/04/24/lo... https://www.facebook.com/groups/Ficti... I have enjoyed dipping in and out of this book over the past week. There are stories from some authors who were familiar to me and several who were not. Each story brought something new to the table and were very different from each other. A couple were unfathomable to me and felt as though they were excerpts lifted from a larger story because they seemed to not have a clear beginning or end. Most I really enjoyed an https://book-bucket.com/2022/04/24/lo... https://www.facebook.com/groups/Ficti... I have enjoyed dipping in and out of this book over the past week. There are stories from some authors who were familiar to me and several who were not. Each story brought something new to the table and were very different from each other. A couple were unfathomable to me and felt as though they were excerpts lifted from a larger story because they seemed to not have a clear beginning or end. Most I really enjoyed and found them thought provoking, and some I wanted to continue on with the story. The title is a slightly misleading one as it would indicate (to me, at any rate) stories about kingdoms half-known, perhaps in legend or folklore, but they are actually about new worlds and discoveries and realities. I received an ARC from NetGalley in return for my honest review.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Bea

    This book was definitely a mixed bag for me. Some of the stories were really fantastic, some were just ok and some were pretty meh. I've always found anthologies to be a lot of fun because you can just pick them up, read one short story and put the book down without desperately needing to read the next to get answers. I struggled to be invested to read the whole books worth of stories because I'd lose motivation when I came to a story that just didn't have the entertainment factor of the really This book was definitely a mixed bag for me. Some of the stories were really fantastic, some were just ok and some were pretty meh. I've always found anthologies to be a lot of fun because you can just pick them up, read one short story and put the book down without desperately needing to read the next to get answers. I struggled to be invested to read the whole books worth of stories because I'd lose motivation when I came to a story that just didn't have the entertainment factor of the really good ones, however I'm glad I finished it because the stories that were really great made up for the ones I found boring. I was given a digital copy of this book in exchange for an honest review, thank you NetGalley.

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